I Haven't Been Home

I haven't had much of a life this fall. In order to have a life, one must actually have about three hours in the evening to devote to one's own joy, be that NOT tennis, parents, school work, driving.

Getting home at 9 p.m. and going to bed at 10:30 doesn't allow for that. And coaching a fall sport and having parent nights two weeks in a row entitled me to start calling school "home."

Two weeks in a row there have been parent nights. Not nonstop, mind you, but staying late at school, after tennis practice, is almost too much even if it is one day. Instead, administrators decided that instead of one large parent night, we would host three seperate parent nights. Any elective teacher who taught all three grades were, simply put, screwed.

Screwed because the original principal that told us we'd get reimbursed via gift cards or something for spending three nights at school, while the other teachers spent one night talking to parents, ended up leaving and therefore we haven't seen anything.

Screwed because leaving the school at 8:30 p.m. and getting there at 7:30 a.m. makes for one helluva long day.

And then we wake up and go back to school again.

Now, I'm usually one of those co-workers that's usually a joy to be around. I make jokes. I'm goofy. I don't stare off blankly into the nothingness of students' foreheads during lunch duty. I don't feel burnout coming on in late September...

Except I do. And now it's early October, and the only thing that should be burnt out is a bon fire or the jack-o-lantern's candle.

I blame 18 tennis players, middle-school-aged, that hold a spoon of Pixie Stick dust over a small flame and wait for it to liquify, before they inject it into their veins, ontop of doing shots of Red Bull. I also blame the developmental stage they are in. If their frontal lobes were fully there then I wouldn't have to repeat myself, yell, clean up after them, etc.

They come into my room after school, eat a snack provided by a tennis parent, and then become possessed by some unseen demon. They whine at me during a tennis match, "when do I get to play?" and then their parents don't even come to the matches and are late picking them up. And to make the night even longer? Tennis isn't timed. Track, it's timed. Basketball, it's timed. Football, there's a time limit. Even cross country is faster than tennis. Tennis, there is no time -- and therefore the students play like it's a Sunday in the park. And it drags on.

Columbus Day is tomorrow. He didn't play tennis. The match should be cancelled. But luckily, it is the last match of the season. There is some mercy from a higher power.

And that's where I've been for the last month. Simply put: not home.